Compelling vision sounds utopian. It should be. Vision that stirs hearts and inspires action is grand. The kinds of vision I’m talking about can even sound almost impossible. It’s vivid. This clarity is one of the reasons for frustration not only in the face of defeat but in small wins too. Defeat, and sometimes small wins, are part of the journey. We can expect them on the way to our preferred future.
Our final destination is easy to see because the bigger something is, the easier it is to see from a distance. Anything significant or worth doing is never easy to achieve. Because we see our preferred future in a clear way, we can fall in the trap of believing in rapid progress. Unfortunately, leaders and teams sometimes forget, or think they’re the exception. They think their brilliance makes them immune to slow progress or failure.
The danger with that is to undermine smaller wins. We all want to make progress, in the very least, at the pace we plan for. Achieving more faster is usually more preferred. Sometimes, leaders need to embrace and even celebrate the smaller wins. I’m not saying that they settle into complacency or not seek to improve.
There are times you have little control of processes and outcomes. At those times you must be happier that things are better. Sometimes the best you can have is not amazing or phenomenal but things being better than they were. More progress is what we all want. No progress is the last thing we need, but some progress should be good enough sometimes.
As a leader you must hope and strive for the best possible outcome. Don’t undermine or disregard all progress because it wasn’t what you wanted. Be happy you arrived than not at all. Be happy you moved forward and not regressed. You can’t control the past, and the question is, “What will you do into the future?”
Sometimes better is good. It’s good because it tells us there are some things that worked. It gives us hints on what works and doesn’t. In the same way we seek to learn from failures, we can learn from the small wins. Leader, will you and your team embrace the small wins?
You might not be where you wanted to be, but you’re not where you’ve been before. Better is good.